St. Patrick

Feast Day – March 17

Patron Saint of Ireland

With St. Patrick’s Day upon us this weekend, I thought I would honor my son’s favorite saint by talking about the saintly man behind the parades, shamrocksSt. Patrick and Irish beverages.

                St. Patrick wasn’t originally from Ireland, but rather was born in Scotland around 350 A.D.  As a teenager, he was captured by barbarians, who pressed him into slavery as a shepherd in Ireland.  In his captivity, he turned to God and became a devout and prayerful young man.  Through this prayer-filled life, the Lord inspired him to escape and return to he own country.  Once he had successfully returned home, God also revealed to him that He had a great mission for Patrick’s life – to return to Ireland and convert the island to Catholicism.  Before returning to Ireland, he became a priest under the direction of St. Germanus and was commissioned by Pope St. Celestine to preach the good news to the pagans in Ireland.

                He was widely accepted in Ireland and those opposing his message found Patrick had the power of God behind him.  He traveled throughout the country, teaching, baptizing, and performing miracles.  After over 40 years of ministering to Ireland, St. Patrick died at an old age ever in service to his God.


Interesting facts about St. Patrick

  • On his escape from Ireland, the ship that agreed to take him home to Scotland ran out of food.   When they landed out of hunger, Patrick told them that nothing was impossible with God.  And at that moment a large herd of swine appeared to provide food for them.
  • Patrick used the shamrock to explain the trinity, showing how a shamrock had three leaves in one, just as the Lord was three persons in one.
  • He often received dreams and visions to direct his actions.
  • According to legend, he is said to have driven all the snakes off the island.  And whether this is meant literally or figuratively (as in the devil), there are no snakes in Ireland today.
  • St. Patrick died at the location where he built the first church in Ireland.

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